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Thread: Some help please?

  1. #1
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    Default Some help please?

    I'm getting my wife a Canon Rebel XTi 10mp SLR. It comes with a EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 lens. Will this work for Wildlife pictures or should I order a different lens? I know little about cameras, but I do want to surprize her with the right equipment for our drive north. Thanks for your help.

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    Member EricL's Avatar
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    Alot would depend on the skill level of the user. I actually gave my "kit lens" away. I have become a believer in this: "spend less on the body and more on the glass". If you plan on trying to get photos of animals, this lens is a long ways from what you will need 99% of the time. Shots of the family and some landscapes are all possible with this lens. With such a large difference in the speed in such a short focal length, the speed leaves a lot to be desired. You might consider getting the XT and a higher quality lens. My XTi has become my back-up but I do still really enjoy it!!
    EricL

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    Member EricL's Avatar
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    If you give me some idea of what you are wanting out of a lens and how much you want to spend, I can send you some links to help out a little.
    EricL

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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the reply EricL. I know she wants the XTi, so I'm going to buy that for her. And then I'll let her order what lens she wants and put a 1k limit on that. She has been using an Olympus for the past few years with a macro lens taking pictures of the Orchids she grows, but now we are moving to Alaska she wants to get more into wildlife and landscape shots.

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    The 18-55 kit lens will work for a lot of things, most landscapes for instance, but as Eric pointed out it is usually the wrong lens for wildlife shots -- unless the bear is already chewing on your leg. For wildlife you want a long lens. The longer the better much of the time, but a really good 600mm lens is too heavy for most of us, and too expensive for the rest of us. There are several lenses you should consider, depending on how willing your wife is to pack heavy glass, and how much you are willing to spend.

    Canon, Sigma, Tamron all have 70-300, or 75-300 lenses in the $150-250 range. They are relatively light, and produce tolerably good images, but the long end of the zoom range, where your wife would shooting wildlife, they all produce somewhat "soft" images. Sigma's 70-300 APO version is a little better than the rest in this class, but it costs more too.

    A good step up is Canon's 70-300 USM IS (not the older 75-300 USM IS).
    Optically it is sharp even at the long end, and it offers Image Stabilization (IS) that is a very practical solution to camera shake that occurs so much with longer lenses. Price is in the $550-600 range. Another in this same price category, and offering high quality images is Canon's 70-200 f/4L. It's not as long as a 300mm lens, so it doesn't magnify the image as much for distance shots, and it doesn't have IS, but it is built far better than any of the previous mentioned lenses, and focuses faster too. It also has a larger aperture (f/4 versus f/5.6) at the long end, and that also reduces camera shake because it allows a faster shutter speed. It comes in an IS version, but is priced considerably higher, and would just bury your $1000 limit.

    Another over the limit lens is Canon's 100-400 f/5.6L. It has the smaller aperture (larger number means smaller aperture, and therefore less light get through), but it also offers IS which compensates for it. It is longer than the rest, is built better, focuses faster, and is quite good optically. I think it's priced around $1400-1500, and is rather large and heavy too.

    There are other options, but those would be the ones I would choose from. The XTi is a good camera, but there are other good cameras out there as well.

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    Member EricL's Avatar
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    I use the 100-400 lens Jim is talking about. It is a great lens for most shots. It does get heavy at times. Take a look at my site in my sig, most of the eagle shots are with this lens and they are all free-hand. The IS is well worth the money. I am looking at a bigger lens, though, at times this lens still doesn't reach as far as I would like. I can put a 2.0 TC on it but the fastest I can get out of it at 400mm is f/11. Very slow except in the brightest of days.
    EricL

  7. #7

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    The 18-55 lens is a sharp lens with limited use. If you want to take wildlife pictures it will leave you wanting more. A great choice is the Tamron 18-200 AF lens. It is a digital lens that will give you terrific range and extremely sharp photos. It has a 6 year warranty and is 100% compatable with all of the Canon Rebel cameras.
    The other alternative is to go the 2 lens route and go with the 18-55 and either the 75-300 or 70-300 IS, both by Canon.
    If you have any questions feel free to call us. As the photo sponsor of this site we are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
    Joel Paymer
    Camera Land
    212-753-5128
    www.cameralandny.com

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    If your budget can afford it I would go with the Canon 70 - 200L 2.8 lens with the Canon 1.4 and 2x converters. I have not priced this out in a while but I would guess the package would be at least $2,000. Expensive yes but they will last you decades of hard use. And it will give her a range from 70 to 400 5.6.
    Tennessee

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